Beethoven has been considered by many to have been the greatest composer off all time. What makes Beethoven great? We will explore the music and life of Beethoven through class discussion, appropriate literature, and in depth analyses followed by complete audiovisual performances of his music. We will begin with a work from his early period that was his most popular work during his lifetime and that he grew to detest. We then will follow him on his "New Path" and explore representative works in several different genres from his middle and late periods including concerti, piano sonatas, string quartets and, of course, symphonies. The CSO will perform all nine symphonies, all five piano concerti and the violin concerto, and Symphony Center will present performances of all 32 piano sonatas during the coming season. All nine symphonies also will be performed on original instruments at the Harris Theater. We hope to have a group excursion to a Beethoven concert. Please join us for this OLLI birthday celebration.